Let's face it - gyms may or may not be our go-to. The machinery could either intimidate us or make us fall in love with it. The pro-lifters might scare us enough to have us running away or push us enough to keep at it. But hey, Simran Nazare, our fitness expert swears by this one form of workout that will melt away those calories while it gets your heart smiling.
Why you’ve got to try Dance Fitness?
This high-energy workout packs a real punch. It’ll melt those calories right off without draining you out or getting repetitive. If you’d like to give it a go and are nervous or unsure about what it entails, we’ve got you covered. Just read on:
Shake the awkwardness off
For starters, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone in this feeling, and just do the best you can. The key isn’t ‘dancing well’ or following the choreography to the T - it’s having fun and burning those calories.
If you’re worried about not knowing how to dance, looking awkward, or missing steps, you’re not alone - seriously. You might feel like you’re the only one in the class who might not know ‘how to dance’. But fret not! As Simran says in her sessions - Any sort of movement can be categorized as dance. There is no hard and fast rule to dancing unless you want to take it up professionally. Whatever that comes from within is dance, no right or wrong, just be you and let your body flow the way it wants to. And beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder so never tweak a move to “look good” unless you’re doing that for yourself.
Second - no one is watching
No, really. No one is judging you or making fun of you. Like we said, almost everyone else is feeling the same as you, and they’re focused on what they’re doing - and that’s what you should do as well. Focus on how you’re feeling, get out of your own head, and loosen up as you move!
While it sounds cliched, it works - practice controlled breathing before the class. If you’re feeling especially anxious, breathe in as you count to six, hold for five seconds, and breathe out as you count to five. Repeat till your heart rate gets back to normal.
For such a fun workout, Dance Fitness is also incredibly effective. So if you’re bored of your usual workout, here are just a few reasons why you should dance your heart out instead!
To keep your heart in the pink of health
Dancing is a great way to get in some cardio work and improve your stamina. It increases your heart rate which helps keep the muscles conditioned. Research has also found that dancing regularly reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
For muscles that make life easier
Enhanced cardiovascular health achieved through dancing can improve muscular endurance. This makes your muscles less prone to injury and allows you to stay active for longer without tiring yourself out!
To find a balance
Dancing engages several muscles simultaneously and helps find your center of gravity. At the same time, it requires several different movements to be done at once, which improves overall coordination.
For that rock hard core
Holding, stretching, twisting - dancing involves all of this and more. And while you may not realize it, these movements are all sneakily strengthening your core. Notice how professional dancers make every movement look absolutely effortless? That’s because their core is doing the work behind the scenes.
For a happier you
Research from the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that dancing helps release chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins which boost your mood. Dance has even been shown to help manage depression and lower risk of dementia.
To stay mobile when you’re old and gray
Dancing is a kind of weight-bearing exercise which is great for improving bone mass and preventing osteoporosis. It strengthens muscle and aids the flexibility of joints, which can prevent injuries and keep you mobile even in your old age.
For self esteem that’s through the roof
Once you get used to dancing just for fun, your anxiety will slowly fade away. This will eventually make you more comfortable in all kinds of social situations, improve your overall self esteem, and help you carry yourself with more confidence. What’s not to love?
Did we get you excited about this yet? Yes?
Here’s how to get started with Dance Fitness
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind before you start your Dance Fitness journey.
For starters, find the right pair of shoes
They should fit just right and be equipped with shock absorbers to prevent knee and ankle injuries. Look out for shoes that are made for high impact workouts since Dance Fitness involves a fair bit of vigorous movement.
When it comes to clothes, keep it simple
Wear something you can move easily in - loose t-shirts, leggings, or yoga pants. Ensure that the material is breathable and sweat absorbent. For women, a well-fitting sports bra is absolutely essential!
Warm up those muscles
Warm ups are absolutely essential before a workout of any kind, including dance fitness. Make sure you’re on time to your class (online or offline) for the warmup routine. Plus, it's always fun to talk to your fellow dance workout partners before the class begins.
Don’t overdo the dancing
Now you’re ready to dance your heart out - but remember, dancing is intense cardio, so don’t overdo it. 30 minutes to an hour, 3-5 days a week is good enough.
Mix your workouts, have a combination of strength training and yoga. On your rest day(s), choose to go on an active recovery mode. Movement is key even during your rest days. To start off, you can cover about 8000-10000 steps on your rest day to get into an active recovery mode.
Don’t forget to relax when done
Once done, it’s time to cool down. Your heart’s racing and your muscles are tired. This is crucial and has to be done after every workout. Breathe deeply and do some relaxing stretches - seated forward fold, standing quad stretch, reclining butterfly are a few you could try to prevent muscle soreness. End with by holding child’s pose for as long as comfortable.
Why cooling down after a workout is important
- Helps lower your heart rate
- Helps prevent injuries and muscle soreness
- Helps your mind and body relax
Our picks for the grooviest dance playlists
If you're looking for some good dance fitness workout music, we've got you covered here as well!
If you’re in the mood for something Bollywood:
Or if your heart craves South Indian beats:
Or if you’re channeling your inner Latino:
Or if you want to tap your feet to some Bhangra beats:
Before we go…
Whether you’re a pro or a beginner with two left feet, Dance Fitness is for you. Don’t let your inhibitions come in the way of a workout that could soon become your new favorite! The benefits that come with have the potential to change your body for the better, and your life. All you need to do is start - so lace up those dancing shoes today!